What to Pack Yourself & What Not to Pack When Moving

Many families planning a move often wonder what items they should pack themselves and what they should leave to the movers. Packing yourself may save you money but it may also put your possessions at greater risk of damage during the journey. Professional movers have the expertise and material to best protect your possessions.

​Proper packing by a trained mover using specially-designed cartons and materials is crucial to a good move. This also eliminates one of the biggest sources of stress for relocating families and can save dozens of hours before moving day. Schedule packing with the mover a day or two before the moving van is loaded.

Be present as your goods are packed. An inventory of your goods will be made and it is important to know what is in the boxes before you sign the inventory document. Make sure all copies are legible and all boxes are properly identified. Have valuable items labeled separately to ensure you can claim their full value in case of damage. Some appliances may require servicing prior to the move, which your mover can schedule for you.

If you are packing yourself, it is never too soon to start; however, it is important to note that movers do not usually accept liability for any damage to items packed by the owners.

The American Moving & Storage Association, which represents professional movers and serves as the home of the ProMover certification program, recommends that you ask the mover what boxes and containers they have to offer. It is often worth buying them at a low cost rather than depending on cardboard boxes that you got from the grocery store. The mover will also be able to provide an estimate of the number and types of boxes you need to buy based on your move.

If the contents are not prone to breaking, such as books or paper files, then it may be worth packing these items on your own. It’s still important to use sturdy boxes and strong packing tape since these boxes must travel with the rest of your household goods in the moving van.

Other items you can likely pack yourself include sheets, pillows, blankets, and towels – but remember that these are also the sort of things you can use to cushion fairly durable items in other boxes that you pack. Just keep in mind that once you begin to travel to your new destination, your mover will likely not be able to accept responsibility for damage to goods you packed yourself since they cannot verify that the items were properly protected for transportation.

When considering your options, first find out what services a professional moving company has to offer. Consumers can get free referrals for certified professional movers to schedule free in-home estimates for the move at no obligation to you. Even if you consider handling the entire move yourself, you have nothing to lose when inviting a mover into your home to determine if a professional move is the best option for you.

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